Helpful Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving
The risks distracted driving presents are well understood overall, but for many, distracted driving can feel like an addiction or necessary evil, finding its way into their journeys despite the best of intents. As such, we’ve endeavored to provide a few helpful tips that can help you avoid the dangers of distracted driving altogether.
Stow and Silence Your Phone
Texting and driving isn’t just dangerous—it’s outright illegal in most states, Nevada included. Yet for many, the chime of a message is a siren call; even while ignoring it, the thought of “what if it’s an emergency?” and other such speculation can be just as distracting as actually reading the message.
Instead of testing your willpower, it can be helpful to completely remove your phone from the equation. Try placing it in a glove box or somewhere else where you can’t easily reach it; additionally, consider silencing your phone (turn off vibrate too) or turning it off altogether. Alternatively, common “do not disturb” settings and apps can be excellent tools, as they stifle mundane incoming messages yet still allow people to contact you in an emergency.
Eat, Sleep, and Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
After texting and driving, some of the most common distractions behind the wheel are drowsiness, food and drink, and configuring GPS systems. All of these can be easily avoided with some basic preparation, however:
- Eat and drink before you leave, or make time in your trip to have a stationary meal, whether while pulled over or inside a restaurant. Doing so can help to minimize impulse decisions to grab fast food or eat while driving, and without the burden of hunger or thirst, you’ll be able to better focus on the road.
- Drowsiness is a subtle killer behind the wheel, but maintaining a healthy sleep schedule can help you avoid exhaustion altogether. If you do end up getting tired, don’t push yourself; pull over, take a nap of at least 45 minutes, give yourself 5-10 minutes to wake up and shake off sleep inertia, and then get back on the road. On longer trips, it can be helpful to take driving in shifts to give people time to rest.
- Needing to reroute around construction zones, Nevada car accidents, and similar obstructions mid-trip can force you to spend time distracted by a GPS system. Instead of waiting until you’re mid-trip, plan your route ahead of time and make sure you know it well. Then, perform a final check just before leaving via Google Maps or similar live services to make sure your projected path of travel is still available.
Avoid Other Distractions That Can Cause Accidents
Beyond the more common varieties, there are other, subtler distractions that can be just as dangerous while driving:
- Music is inherently somewhat distracting, but if you do decide to play some, don’t make it more of a distraction by constantly changing songs or stations. Try making a playlist instead, or if you have someone else in the car, let them take the task of manual configuration (literally) off of your hands.
- Talking with passengers can be nice, but try to limit your engagement in conversations. Discussions are cognitive distractions, and can negatively impact your reaction times and general driving skill even if you keep your eyes glued to the road.
If you do get into an auto accident as a result of distracted driving, you should seek the advice of an experienced Nevada accident attorney. Call us today at (702) 550-1111 to arrange a free consultation; we can handle the claims process and help you prove that distracted driving occurred.